News Article

Nintendo Faces More Calls to Embrace Mobile

Posted by James Newton

Everyone's in on the act

Andy Payne, chairman of UK Interactive Entertainment — the UK's games industry trade association — is the latest in a long line of industry notables to call on Nintendo to create games for smartphones.

Speaking at Liverpool's Develop conference, Payne spoke in response to an audience statement that platform exclusivity was limiting Sony and Nintendo's success:

I think it would be a massive relief to both Sony and Nintendo to become content-only. Right now, they might not even know it. You know that thing where you take drugs and you think it's the best thing in the world? Then you get off them and go, 'What was I doing?'

Drugs joke aside, Payne went on to say:

Imagine any Mario or Zelda property being on the iPhone or an Android phone. They'd get £10 or £15 for it, because people would want to pay to have it on their phone. They would. And that would be amazing.

It's easy to see Payne's point: Nintendo software is among the best in the world, and offering that to a wider audience could result in increased sales, but with Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime saying mobile would go against Nintendo's beliefs it's unlikely we'll see Mario on a phone any time soon.


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User Comments (83)



AbuJaffer said:

There's two issues with this strategy, and they tie together:
A) Having their games on smartphones would greatly decrease peoples' need for the companies respective consoles.
B) Having the games on smartphones means they need to be competitively priced, which wouldn't be able to fuel development prices. Ultimately, the only way they'd be able to make a profit is make crappier games, and that position isn't for top tier, AAA game manufacturers like Sony or Nintendo, but for smaller devs without the manpower or reach to make such huge, amazing games. They all have their own roles in the bigger picture, and having Sony/Nintendo take down a step would take the place of hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller, usually successful devs. They would have to join the thousands of other devs who, despite making good games, don't get the coverage they need to get attention in the VERY saturated smartphone gaming market.



daznsaz said:

dont want mario on a phone.dont think nintendo do either so problem solved.



cfgk24 said:

Please put a simple Text and Call phone on my 3ds - Problem solved!
I can then get rid of my crappy iPhone/Android/Blackberry
Text and calls is all I need!!!!!!



RVN said:

don't mean to be a troll, but i think the only one on drugs is him



komicturtle said:

No thanks. Until Smartphones become affordable and well.. actually, screw it. I'll stick with my dedicated gaming handhelds.



Reggie4Life said:

@6 I totally agree. That would be awesome to be playing MK7, suspend it, reply to a text, check my Swapnotes, check on NL's forums, then get back to owning Mario's butt. Make it happen, Nintendo.



King_Boo said:

as soon as a smartphone gets circle pads, shoulder buttons, face buttons, and a D-pad, then I'll consider it.



Dodger said:

I have to agree with King Boo. Every droid platformer I've played is just tap to jump.

I do think the 3DS should be able to text. Itouches can text and I think the wii can.

There is one way though. Yahoo Messenger can text and Yahoo Messenger is the only chat service with a functional mobile page that the 3DS will run.



Eldin said:

Console games or handheld game console games on cell phones = Unplayable.
There is no way that a touch screen can ever replace physical buttons.



Shining-Void said:

I want a mario phone, but on topic nintendo games will NEVER work with touch only. There is a reason why consoles have buttons.



JakobG said:

Considering games such as Kirby: Mass Attack and Rhythm Heaven, I don't think Nintendo would have too much problems making games for something as limited as smartphones.
That being said, I wouldn't want Nintendo to leave the realm of dedicated platforms.



C7_ said:


A Mario or Zelda game that would fit on a mobile would be very disappointing to say the least. Nintendo uses their own systems because they have ideas that would only uniquely be experienced on their own consoles, that and they have already established they wont ditch buttons anytime soon (good thing). Going mobile would go against a lot of their innovative ideas, it'll never happen.



Noend said:

For all the complaint on the 3DS battery life, imagine playing these games on your phone! My phone is near dead in an hour and a half of texas hold'em and then I can't make any calls? No thank you.

I have tried many of the smartphone games on android and ios and I have trouble with people even calling them games if you compare them one to one with console offerings. It's only a fad because it's cheap and people think cheap means value, which it does not.



NintyMan said:

No thanks. It would hurt more than help because it would slash 3DS sales and Nintendo is not known for making a Mario or Zelda game so bogged down and cheap to be like a five-minute doctor's office playtime. Nintendo should keep their unique stance as an example to others that you don't have to put cheap games on iphones to be a profitable entertainment business.

People would buy Nintendo iphone games, but eventually it would reduce Nintendo's efforts to lesser quality titles that would lose substance, and Nintendo puts a kind of artistry in their games that simply cannot be put into a smart phone format.



LittleIrves said:

Didn't Phantom Hourglass use only touch input? I'm sure if there's any dev out there that could make a full-featured amazing game using iOS, it's Nintendo.
BUT: This Payne character, and everyone else shouting for Ninty to become a content-only provider, misses the point. They make games on their hardware because their hardware allows them to make the best games. Would they have invented Wii Sports with the controllers already on the market? No. Would analog become so prevalent if Nintendo tried making Super Mario 64 on the PSOne's original pad? No. For Nintendo, hardware and software are so entwined that to think of one without the other doesn't make any sense. So no, Nintendo is not going to make their games for any other platform.



misswliu81 said:

if nintendo came up with and released their own phone where you can play games, use Facebook, twitter, internet, then i'd get it. other than that, no, i don't want their games to be on smartphones. it just wouldn't be the same gaming experiencing.



SteveW said:

Nintendo games need to be on Nintendo consoles, nothing else. People dying to see them on their phones need to just buy a Nintendo system, besides.. I never want to see Mario on a system without real controls.



AVahne said:

When phones get to the point where they have ALL the traditional gaming controls, motion controls, real camera controls, HD and autostereoscopic 3D, stylus (for precision control) and multitouch (for menus and casual games) capability, AND can fit in my pocket easily with a HUMONGOUS battery life so I can do real gaming (which isn't truly possible on a phone) AND have enough battery for actually CALLING PEOPLE for hours while also being extremely affordable and also being developed by Nintendo, THEN we'll talk. All those "industry experts" who cry for Nintendo to be on phone, make a phone that can actually handle it first. For now, you're all embarrassing yourself by suggesting something so ridiculous. We want real games from Nintendo, not trash that just has Nintendo's name slapped on.



AVahne said:

Nintendo is bringing the successor to Pictochat by the end of the month, though this time it'll combine pictochat with real messaging.



HipsterDashie said:

Subscribe to Nintendo Life on YouTube

But seriously, I would never buy a Mario or Zelda game on a touchscreen based smartphone. The lack of buttons kills the experience completely for me. I tried a Game Boy emulator with Super Mario Land on my Samsung Galaxy S II a few weeks ago. Couldn't even finish the first level.



Hokori said:

@30 yeh I did the same with Pokemon Crystal..... the music was WAY off and the controls were awful



Ultranintendofanboy said:

I love the awesome Iphone and nintendo would sure get an wider audiense in teh Iphone. doud busines is busines even if u like or not nintendo games would sell like water on Iphone. Haters gonna Hate. This is a fact Things would sell on teh Iphone it is such a beutifull piece of hardware so... DEAL WITH IT DOOOOUUUUD!!! NINTENDO GAMES WOULD SELL SO FIGGIN WELL on the Iphone AND I DUN CARE ABAOUT what anyone says I WOULD BUY MARIO OR ZELDA FOR TEH IPHONES man.
Oh by the way if dat happens I would react like this:



naut said:

Screw the analysts. The day a Ninty IP appears on anything other than an actual Nintendo system will be the day I die.



ToneDeath said:

People say that it's not the hardware that is important, it's the games. This is true, but remember that part of what makes Nintendo's games great IS the hardware.
Take Super Mario 64 for example; until Sony incorporated analogue sticks into their own controllers there was no way that kind of gameplay could be presented on the Playstation.
Much of the gameplay in Skyward Sword is inspired by the capabilities of the MotionPlus controller, so there's a more recent example.
What I'm saying is that not being able to design their own hardware would be a major handicap to their game design.

@LittleIrves: Ah, I see you already made exactly the same point. I'm sure that anyone else that has owned more than a couple Nintendo consoles would agree too.



Burning_Spear said:

The drug analogy was the dumbest thing I've heard all year. No, it's really like when you're pulling hairs out of your balls, and then you stop and say, "What was I doing? That hurt."



Graph said:

No way I'm playing games on a smartphone. I have one, tried playing on it, it sucks. I hate smartphone games. I regret ever buying a smartphone in the first place. What a stupid idea that was.



Dodger said:

@Koto Yes, but it would be nice to be able to text friends. Isn't the end of the world but I only have a few 3DS friends at the moment.

The question isn't if Nintendo could make a good smartphone game, its if they should.

I don't find the touch screen on a smartphone to be as good as on the DS. Plus you block your view with your fingers and your fingers get sore. A game like Phantom Hourglass would never work well and would cost too much to make. Mass Attack might work but not as well as with a stylus.

To be honest, I have no jealousy of people who own smartphones. The games stink, the touch screen stinks, the browser goes at about the same speed as the 3DS browser and the keyboard is so horrid that you don't want to use the browser anyways, the battery life stinks (my 3DS lasts longer) and it costs a lot. I'm fine with a basic cell phone and a 3DS.

I don't mind if Nintendo makes a WarioWare or Mario Party game for a smartphone to make their investors happy but I don't think anything else would work.



MeloMan said:

Nintendo creating throw away arcade games for a smartphone... a "possibly" lucrative endeavor. Nintendo giving up the ghost for full-time smartphone 3rd party support? Not a chance in hell. As long as people want to play extremely engrossing portable games, there WILL be a portable console market, simple as that, and until Nintendo as well as Sony are thrown from those models, neither of them are budging.



Supreme said:

I shall smack the next person who claims Nintendo would be better off embracing phones in the face with a white glove. I'm a gentleman, you see.



theblackdragon said:

We can do without threats of smacking one another, gentleman-style or not, please and thank you :3



FluttershyGuy said:

Unplayable Mario & Zelda on a touch screen? Even I, loving the series as I do, would pass. Both require too much precision to be remotely enjoyable. Yeah, I know, the Zelda DS games, but imagine them without firm buttons to press. It's a totally different thing besides.

Everyone is supposed to bow down to almighty Apple and have their products on iPhone/iPad, like nice little sheepies (I wonder how many of those who make these statements are in Apple's pocket). Don't do it, Nintendo. Don't give in to the smartphone craze. You've got it right right now!



rafaelluik said:

Can't we stop with this already? They aren't going to make games for mobiles! Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft games are of high quality and size, it directly affects the price and no one wants they lose focus on their consoles to make poor games for cellphones. And in the case of Nintendo, selling consoles is one of its main ways of revenue because of piracy.



edhe said:

As someone who is supposed to have the interests of the UK game industry in mind, I find it interesting how Andy Payne wants to see the console market shrink.

It would mean developers would have less of an outlet for releasing games, because let's face it, not everyone needs (or can afford) an iOS device or a smartphone.



AVahne said:

@ Dodger
Well I guess that would be nice, though I don't text at all, not even on my LG Optimus T android phone. I pretty much commanded all my friends to get a 3DS anyway, so I'm good (all of them except one has one now, the one who doesn't is waiting to see if the White 3DS comes over here XD).
And I have to say something about browsers, sure the higher end phones would have faster browsers (maybe) but they're expensive. Right now, the 3DS has a FAR faster browser than my smart phone (and my phone is kinda decent). And I'm happy about that, especially since its much faster and more streamlined than the DSi browser. Much smoother than the DSi and my phone too.



Jamouse said:

Andy Payne huh?... Must be Winston Payne from Ace Attorney in disguise... if so then...



Hokori said:

@45 a few of my friends hate me for having a 3DS, because they are so jealous, they really want one now.... especially for Kingdom Hearts DDD, and I dont think she likes smartphones either



TheChosen said:

Drugs? This guy is definitely high on Apple-products. I mean, sure, 3DS blundered a bit and I-things are eating the handheld market, there was some sort of logical argument there. But now, this guy is basically saying that everyone should get on the Apple-train because everyone has a phone.

And he thinks Sony should do that too? Oh, god. Its just too funny.



TeeJay said:

Um, no. No I don't know about that drug scenario. Wtf? Why even say that out loud?



SLiM said:

I'm hoping the next Nintendo DS will at least have multitasking. If it had all the other features of a phone that would just be gravy



TheGreenSpiny said:

People are idiots, a platform is a platform. You need something to play these games on, whether Sony, Nintendo, or Apple makes the platform somebody does. The difference here is that the 3DS is made for games, not for calling your friends, As somebody pointed out the reason Nintendo makes such suburb games is they makes the games around their hardware. Most other companies fail to do that. The big reason crap like Angry Birds is so successful is that it was tailored to the touch screen interface. Games like Chinatown Wars probably play like crap in iOS, and no self respecting gamer would go near anything but the DS/PSP versions of the game.



killer6370 said:

no one need stupid mobile games hey the 3ds is already mobile and no one needs mario on a phone thats something id never buy mobile fone are for talking or sending sms but not for playing games that are too expensive even for 50 cents and yes i have an smartphone but i use it for talking or searching restaurants,or streets and other useful things not for playing



StarDust4Ever said:

To refer to Nintendo and Sony as "being on drugs" - That's the most ludicrous thing I've ever heard!

Yes, post 53 killer6370, the 3DS is a mobile Gaming system!



Bankai said:

Actually, TheDarkness, Chinatown Wars plays great on iPad.

I'm rather glad Nintendo is not making iPad games. I buy too many of them already as it is.



Pastry said:

-In business meeting-
"Hey, put that DS away"
"I'm just trying to text my wife"
"You're fired"



Jono97 said:

Nintendo is made for gaming. Not everyone wants a phone. lol my friend got forced to get a phone..



jerryo said:

uhm.... ok there can be a solution for this, if need be that is, they make other games, non mario zelda etc franchises. build new ones for mobile only with a different scope.



Slapshot said:

...because iOS games are of the same quality of Uncharted 3 and Skyward Sword!

What an idiot!



shinesprite said:

Sega covers a wide variety of systems, including a few phone ventures, and I don't see them faking in higher profits than that of Nintendo's software sales.



SanderEvers said:

Let me say this ONE MORE TIME:


It will be the end of Nintendo:
Nintendo sells games on iPhone (Super Mario for €0,79)
NOBODY buys any normal Mario game for 3DS or Wii.

BTW, for games like Mario you'll NEED physical buttons.

It's like Apple selling OSX for Windows PCs.
It's like Sony selling games for the XBOX.
It's like Microsoft selling Wii games.
This cannot, will not and should not ever happen.



Metal_Slugger said:

Don't ever do it Nintendo. Exclusive, collectible, value, prestige, all down the drain. Soon to follow heart and soul.



Hokori said:

iphone games would feel like the Wario Ware DS games for each franchise.... only playable for 5 sec.... but unlike iphones WW has a point of only being 5 sec of fun



Bulbousaur said:

No. The controls would be god awful, the fans will uproar and some bad crap would go down. Going smartphone is a bad, but only because of the hideous controls on phones. I tried playing Pacman and Worms on a Galaxy Ace once, it was terrible. Worst £1.60 I ever spent.



Jamouse said:

"You know that thing where you take drugs and you think it's the best thing in the world? Then you get off them and go, 'What was I doing?' " Payne

Ah, well that explains Majoras Mask then.



dizzy_boy said:

so this payne fellow is suggesting that only microsoft should make consoles. ha that`ll never happen.
microsoft has more than enough monopoly over the computer industry as it is, without adding the console market to the list aswell.
besides there needs to be competition or games can get very stale after a while and playing video games at home will go pretty much the same route as the arcades.
besides, there`s no way on earth that any mobile phone can produce the same indepth gameplay that a console can.
besides, if you want mobile gaming, buy a 3DS or PSP simple really, and the games on those handhelds are far better than what any mobile phone can produce.



motang said:

I could careless for mobile games, so Nintendo ignore this. But on the other side of the coin it is a cash cow, and if Nintendo did have a division just for mobile games, that wouldn't be a bad thing.



stromboli said:

Nintendo is worth about 20 billion dollars. By stopping to produce hardware, it will cut its worth at least in half. Maybe even more. SEGA is worth a quarter of Nintendo. Activision is worth 13 billion. So that's the maximum there. In other words, it will be insane to do that. Now, if it is suggestive that Nintendo will market to both, then it will lose too much money on the hardware, and drop it all-together. Still, they should embrace mini games on facebook or google - that is a good idea.



Dodger said:

@Koto I know! My parents have droids (I think they have a Galaxy model or something like that) and the browser is a lot slower then my 3DS. It has problems with the same pages that my 3DS has problems with and it is so hard to type. I can type really quickly with a stylus. Iphone/Droid can do everything but I don't think they do anything well. The smartphone is a great idea but the technology isn't there yet.



Sh00kst3r said:

Even if they made games for the super freakin' awesome Xperia? Nope.avi


Precisely. Let's say hell froze over and Ninty began making iOS games: Why buy New Super Mario Bros WiiU when there's a new Mario game on this iTouch for $.99? Console sales plummet, iPhone/iTouch sales soar. Bye Nintendo consoles, hello shivers Apple brainwashed Nintendo.



mrtambourineman said:

applications on phones are the worst idea. people already are dumb enough to text while driving and get into car crashes. lets leave the games at home and have phones just be phones.



Shworange said:

I'm really sick of mobile phone games! I just bought infinity blade for my iPhone the other day. After playing for 5 minutes, it began relentlessly crashing! Incredible graphics? Beloved by millions? Baah! Give me a game and a system that friggin works! I've never had a problem with Nintendo games crashing. Never! This is supposed to be the best the iPhone has? Nice try, fail!



MasterSw0rd said:

That’s nice and all “get cheap good games on smart phones” but its impassible because not all smart phones have the same specs so people will have to get know smart phones ,that’s good for the phone market but … no one will buy a 300-700 phone to play games knowing that he be covering the already small screen with hes fingers. Also phones have to be small (so they can fit in you’re pocket). I mean no one play 3D games on iphone they only play games like Angry Birds , cut the rope etc. You get what you pay for .



Warshade said:

Touch screen controls are absolute garbage for games like mario and zelda. If they broke into the mobile market with original other IPs that would not be bad but besides selling a controller to plug into the thing along with the games putting the classics on the terrible touch screen seems worthless to me. I would not pay money for it when I can play it else where with controls worth using.



picpik said:

what did this guy ever did good to the gaming industry ? does he even enjoy video games ? i still don't believe you guys quote from that kind of nonsense coming straight from wall street.

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